AT&T asks Apple to signal iPhone 4S is a 4G phone
LTE isn't 4G, and HSPA+ certainly ain't
US carrier AT&T wants Apple's iPhone 4S to show "4G" in the handset's status bar when the gadget connects to its HSPA+ network.
An internal memo leaked to website The Verge shows that AT&T says it's working with Apple to get the change implemented in a future version of iOS.
If this is indeed the case and it is applied globally, it could make for some interesting discussions with telecoms and advertising regulators.
LTE is not truly 4G, though it's being marketed by some network operators as such. HSPA+ has even less claim to the moniker.
The term '4G' essentially defines data speed. ITU standard IMT-Advanced states that for a network to be 4G it should deliver data speeds of 100Mb/s when the device is in motion, rising to 1Gb/s when the gadget is stationary.
The iPhone 4S has a peak throughput of 14.4Mb/s, a long way short of both of those speeds, as does most other currently shipping smartphones.
LTE is faster. It's downloads can theoretically hit 100Mb/s in ideal conditions, but uploads peak at 50Mb/s.
If HSPA+ is 3.5G, you might call LTE 3.9G.
The question is, will nations' advertising watchdogs allow Apple - or its carrier partners - to put '4G' next to the 4S' signal strength marker when the new iPhone delivers a fraction of the speed a 4G device should? ®
DOES NOT MATTER WHAT THEY CALL IT.....
Or what it can or cannot do.
Apple can claim anything, 4G, 38DD, a beam me up Scotty facility, even that it will let you time travel and twist dimensions.
It makes no difference to Apple aficionados they will buy it because the salesman said it could.
If it were a car, a Trabant with an Apple logo on it, it would sell and sadly the drivers would still believe it was the best car in the world.
It is called brain washing the niave.
Why would anybody stop this?
After all, ISPs have already been able to reduce the word 'unlimited' to absolute meaningless...
Apple have a long and consistent record when it comes to customising phones for carriers. Their reply will look like this icon (but with a different digit raised).
Who's blaming Apple?
It's (allegedly, it's a leaked memo with no guarantee of authenticity) AT&T who requested it, to no avail. Apple said at the launch they weren't going to get into what was and wasn't 4G.
Nah, Ofcom will be more than happy. It means that the operators can already deploy 4G with what they've got, so they had better cough up for 4G licesnes already.
Then Ofcom can sell the extra bandwidth that they have just stolen off the public as well! Double money!!!